ShanghART Gallery is pleased to present group exhibition Physical Theatre at 1F, ShanghART Westbund from August 9 until September 10 with 12 artists’ photography works. Physical Theatre, taking "physical body" as the starting point, intends to reveal the close relations between the individuals and the reality on the basis of artists’ perspectives as well as the analysis of various concepts through their imaginative narrative of bodies. Exhibited artists include Chen Xiaoyun, Chen Wei, Geng Jianyi, Shi Yong, Shao Yi, Tang Maohong, Xiang Liqing,Yang Fudong, Yang Zhenzhong, Zhang Ding, Zhang Qing and Zhu Jia.
Reflecting the most instinctive and genuine reaction of human beings, physical bodies as carriers help to build up the relations with the surroundings through individuals’ senses to form the self-cognition of the world. Applying physical bodies as the medium, exhibited artists extend their proposition from self-cognition to daily routines and social norms. In the exhibition, “physical body” is given multiple definitions and can be interpreted as a variety of behaviours. In the works by Chen Xiaoyun, Shao Yi, Yang Zhenzhong, Tang Maohong and Xiang Liqing, bodies work as the direct medium to illustrate the query of sexual orientation and the resistance to social norms with a sarcastic sense of humour. In the scenario of Geng Jianyi and Chen Wei, bodies become invisible on-site elements. Materials and scenes have become parts of artists’ existence and have been evolved into the traces left by their activities. Differently, Zhu Jia and Zhang Qing’s “physical involvement” captured and remained in their works. The former applies sudden physical invention and the latter focuses on performance. Both of their works prove the dynamics in two-dimensional photography works and intrigue audience’s consequential imagination. Theatricality lies in Yang Fudong, Shi Yong and Zhang Ding’s works. The absurd contrast is generated between the dramatic expressions and the reality in the pre-set narratives and scenes, which implies the spirit of the times under artists’ spontaneous expression.
Each audience is seen as the physical body “staging” with the depicted “bodies” from the exhibited works. The potential context imparted on each work interacts with the audiences’ own background, a physical and spiritual resonance is initiated.